31 March 2007

Recent e-Voting Developments

There were a couple of interesting e-voting-related items in the news this week.

The state of Massachusetts decided to purchase a large number of e-voting machines, and they solicited bids in order to select a vendor. They ended up choosing AutoMARK, a competitor of Diebold. Diebold, annoyed at losing a $9 million contract, is suing the state of Massachusetts. The term 'sore losers 'comes to mind.

The state of California is looking at imposing a very strict set of requirements for e-voting machines. These requirements are in fact so strict that no e-voting vendor may be able to meet them in time for the presidential primary in February 2008 (which is about four months earlier than in previous elections), which might mean that the election will be conducted with paper ballots.

The articles state that both decisions (Massachusetts' AutoMARK selection and California's interest in tougher standards) were motivated at least in part by legislation requiring voting facilities for voters with certain types of disabilities.

In a somewhat related story, the New York Review of Books published an article which contains some interesting speculation about the outcome of the 2000 presidential election had Florida prisoners been allowed to vote. This is a fairly long article, but it's one of the most thought-provoking things I've read in a while.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

The fact that ANY electronic voting machine can be tampered with is cause for concern. It doesn't matter who makes it.

There is a very good article that covers the issue of these voting machines. You can read it here:

http://www.signs-of-the-times.org/articles/
show/129407-Hacking+Democracy

This is a serious issue that should really be looked into.